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A swing and a miss from Kelvin.

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MEDIA RELEASE The Hon John Anderson MP Deputy Prime Minister Minister for Transport and Regional Services Leader of The Nationals

14 April 2005 A50/2005


Today's claim by Labor's spokesman for regional development, Kelvin Thomson, that De-Anne Kelly has been "struck out" by evidence before the Senate inquiry into the Regional Partnerships program is the political equivalent of a swing and a miss.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Transport and Regional Services, John Anderson, said Mr Thomson just can't help embarrassing himself and his party on this subject.

"Mr Thomson alleges that Mrs Kelly breached Regional Partnerships guidelines when she told A2 Milk in Cairns to make their application for funding direct to the Department for Transport and Regional Services rather than the local Area Consultative Committee," Mr Anderson said.

"But all applications for Regional Partnerships funding have to be made through the department. That is exactly what the guidelines say. I suggest Mr Thomson reads page nine of the Regional Partnership guidelines, under the heading 'How do I make an application?'

"Certainly ACC's can help people prepare an application but they do not and have never been able to accept applications. All this does is confirm that Mr Thomson does not know what he is talking about and that Labor's Senate inquiry is a political witch-hunt.

"For all of Mr Thomson's concocted sound and fury, I note he has overlooked one critical point. The A2 Milk grant of $1.2 million was never paid - taxpayers have not lost any money.

"All he has confirmed is that Labor doesn't give a damn about regional issues. Given half a chance, it will strip country Australians of every program dedicated to helping them," Mr Anderson said.

Media Contacts

Paul Chamberlin ( Minister Anderson's Office ) 02 6277 7680